Ky. veterinarian gives tips on keeping your pets safe and healthy during summer heat

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:52 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As temperatures stay in the upper 80s and 90s for the next several days, pet owners like George Haley are making sure their pets are able to enjoy outside while also being able to cool down easily at home.

“We have one of the magnetic screen doors so they can come and go as they please,” Haley said.

And when it comes to going to the dog park, Haley says they try to go as early in the morning as they can.

“Usually we’re here before now, we try to get here before the heat of the day,” Haley said.

For those that take their dog on walks, it’s also best to either get out in the morning or late into the evening because concrete and blacktop surfaces will become dangerous for pets during the afternoon.

“With the concrete being elevated temperatures, because it’s just about double what the temperature is outside, we see a lot of paw pads being burned or damaged or anything like that,” said Dr. Amanda Finch with Richmond Road Veterinary Clinic.

If you need to get your dog’s energy out and go to the dog park or for a walk, it’s still safe to do so in these warm and hot times, you just want to be mindful and watch for signs of heat-released issues.

“Excessive panting, I mean above the normal, and then watching the color of their gums if they start looking a little more red than their normal pink color, look more like brick red that’s a big sign too,” Dr. Finch said.

If your dog is showing symptoms, it’s best to immediately get them into a cooler area and for dogs that may have gotten minor burns on their paws, Dr. Finch offers this advice:

“As long as that paw pad is still intact you can try epsom salt baths or even putting a little bit of Neosporin, but you don’t necessarily want to wrap it immediately because you want that oxygen in there, kind of that air to release it,” Dr. Finch said.

The most common heat-related health issue that dogs can face is heat stroke, where a dog would have episodes of passing out, vomiting, and if temperatures get too high, they can even start seizing.

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